If you ever become a published author, would you keep reviewing books honestly?
If you’re a full-time author, you’re going to have much much much less time to read books, let alone write up reviews for them, but hypothetically speaking, I would really love to hear your thoughts on the matter. And if you’re not a writer — just a book blogger — how would you feel about published authors remaining their honesty in reviews?
I personally think this is a really interesting blog topic to talk about. Because a) everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and b) often I’ve only seen authors (who are on Goodreads, for example) rate and review books when they are four or five stars.
I get it: Mostly it’s about respect for other authors.
It would probably be very degrading seeing an author — especially one that you admire and look up to — rate your book low, and give it a negative review. So I’m guessing that (as well as the obvious time contains) is why a lot of authors don’t chose to express themselves honestly in regards to other books online. I realize that authors try to conduct themselves in a professional manner, and therefore keep their opinions to themselves when they come across a novel that they didn’t like.
Which, to some, might be considered the right thing to do.
But, hang on, let’s take a look at it from another angle.
One of the great things about the internet is that there are endless (and I really do mean endless!) opinions on every topic imaginable. And thanks to sites such as Goodreads, these opinions can be openly shared — and scrutinized — by everyone. Authors, like book reviews, are people. And people have opinions. People are entitled to their opinions — they are entitled to love a book, dislike it, make them laugh and cry, roll their eyes, or make them angry for whatever reason. So why can’t authors share their opinions, too? Besides from respecting another author’s hard work and effort, we are all different people with different opinions.
Reviews do not — or, they should not — be a reflection of the author themselves.
An author puts countless effort and energy into their novel, and if they are lucky enough, they might end up being published in print. But the fact remains that an author is not their book. There are slivers of themselves in there, sure — perhaps someone they know inspired a character, or maybe their novel is set in their childhood home, or perhaps even portions of the storyline has been (either consciously or subconsciously) been embedded into their writing. And that’s fine. But the author is not the novel, and the novel is not the author. Everybody has their own opinions, and should be able to express them freely.
So where do I stand in the matter?
Well . . . if the truth it told, I don’t know. I’m a looooooooooong way of from being published (if that ever happens!) but looking at it from a purely hypothetical angle, I would like to think that in the time I have, I would continue to review books honestly. I love my blog, and I would ideally love to keep it running. So why should that all change because I’d become a published author? But on the other hand, would people accept that? Would fellow authors be offended that I’ve continued to spew my thoughts onto the internet? I honestly don’t know.